Tony Blair is all over the front pages of the newspapers following the revelations of the Chilcot report. One headline stands out more than most. This from The Times:
The Times' own proprietor Rupert Murdoch was also keen, as The New York Times noted at the time in an article entitled "Mr Murdoch's War":
"On the first day of the war with Iraq, Rupert Murdoch watched the explosions over Baghdad on a panel of seven television screens mounted in the wall of his Los Angeles office, telling friends and colleagues over the phone of his satisfaction that after weeks of hand-wringing the battle had finally begun...[He] has made no secret of his opinions. ''We can't back down now, where you hand over the whole of the Middle East to Saddam," Mr. Murdoch told the Bulletin, an Australian magazine... ''Bush is acting very morally, very correctly,'' he said. ''The greatest thing to come of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country.''"
Although some may question Alastair Campbell's impartiality, or reliability where this particular subject is concerned, there were also claims in the former spin doctor's diary that Murdoch was putting pressure on Tony Blair to go to war.
At the World Economic Forum in 2007. Murdoch was asked directly whether his media empire had tried to use its influence to shape attitudes towards the war. Murdoch replied: "We've tried. We've basically supported - our papers and television - I would say supported the Bush policy."
More recently, at the Leveson Inquiry in 2012 we heard Tony Blair spoke to Murdoch several times leading up to the start of the war. Paul Dacre, editor of rival newspapers to Murdoch's, also shared his personal opinion with Leveson that Blair could not have gone to war without the "implacable support" of Murdoch and his papers.
At the time, Murdoch's The Sun was particularly savage towards anybody who opposed the war, painting them as traitors siding with Saddam Hussein. It branded the late Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy "a spineless reptile" for daring to oppose the war.